Bahrain seizes pirated software in raids
Manama , May 5, 2010
A string of arrests have been made by Bahrain authorities after seizing hundreds of pirated software discs in raids.
The discs were seized following complaints lodged by Microsoft Gulf at the Culture and Information Ministry.
'Several people have been arrested and taken to the public prosecution and they are facing trial for their role in selling and distributing the software,' said Microsoft Gulf intellectual property rights (IPR) manager Jawad Al Redha.
'We have been following up these cases for a while and have been co-ordinating with the authorities concerned.'
Redha said the raids were part of the company's efforts to curb the spread of pirated software.
'We report to the ministry from time to time and they take action,' he said.
The latest series of raids have resulted in pirated copies of Windows and Office software being seized, said Redha.
'Software piracy poses a significant challenge to Microsoft and the entire industry as well as others who create products built on intellectual property,' he said.
'We are committed to raising awareness among users to guide them towards the use of genuine software. This is in addition to promoting the enforcement of existing IPR laws and engineering sophisticated anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy technologies.'
Redha said the company was always committed to work with stakeholders across the Gulf, including governments, industry partners and educational bodies.
The aim is to increase awareness about intellectual property and the importance to respect IPRs, he said.
Ministry officials confirmed the raids and said that they would continue to fight the sale of pirated software discs.
'We are continuing with our efforts to stamp out piracy in Bahrain,' said an official, who did not want to be named.
'Since Bahrain is now on way to try and become a regional IT hub, we cannot let piracy spoil everything. This goal will not be attained if we allow Bahrain to be the base of resellers of illegal software.”
'We value the assistance of Microsoft Gulf and other organisations in feeding us information that can help us track down sources of pirated software,” the official added.
'We will continue to conduct and even intensify such raids to ensure that we secure a safe and productive environment for local and foreign stakeholders in our rapidly growing IT sector.' – TradeArabia News Service